/ Articles / Prep spring sports regular and postseason canceled

Prep spring sports regular and postseason canceled

Opportunities in the summertime still available

April 24, 2020 by Brett LaBore

In an ongoing situation due to COVID-19, the high school spring sports season was up in the air. Now it is officially canceled. 

A recent release from the WIAA Board of Control came out on Tuesday. 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Board of Control voted to cancel the 2020 spring sports season, including the Tournament Series.

They are allowing individual, virtual spring sports coaching to continue until the final day of the 2020 season, which is the final day of the state tournament for the respective sports.

This comes in after a decision made by Governor Tony Evers on April 16, where he extended the state’s Safer at Home order until May 26, with all public and private K-12 schools closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year (June 30).

“Schools are prohibited from offering extracurricular and athletics by the executive order through June 30,” WIAA deputy director Wade Labecki explained.

The board did vote to extend the unrestricted summertime coaching contact opportunities for spring sports only. The action will permit school teams that include the current year’s seniors to assemble and conduct practices and competitions for up to 30 days, provided restrictions on assembling groups are removed, until the start of a student-athlete’s fall sport season.

“If the Governor lifts the restrictions via the Bounce Back program, schools may be allowed to have practice and possibly competitions during July using the 30 day provision the Board of Control approved,” Labecki said.

A number of things stay the same. All sports’ acclimation regulations prior to the first competition stay the same. A day of rest after six consecutive contact days remains the same. Plus, if schools go ahead with games, the required number of WIAA licensed officials also remains unchanged. 

All spring sports competitions scheduled during the expansion of unrestricted summertime provisions will require approval from district administrators of all competing schools. Also, spring sports teams assembling without current year’s seniors participating shall be limited to five days of unrestricted summertime contact, the same as fall and winter sports. 

The cancellation of all extracurricular activities prohibits all school or coach involvement which includes games, practices and training until at the earliest July 1, unless restrictions are removed prior to that.

Just like before, coaches are still not allowed to bring their student athletes together or encourage them to assemble for practice or train until restrictions on assembling groups are removed.

Coaches can still connect with student athletes virtually, with virtual organizational team meetings and team building exercises by video or messaging as approved by school administration to provide support for athletes.

Coaches can provide general information to their athletes virtually, who may voluntarily review the suggestions. Coaches are prohibited from mandating or instructing athletes out of season during this period.

As for the fall and winter sports seasons, contact may begin July 1 — provided restrictions on assembling in groups are removed — and will follow the existing prescribed summertime dates and unrestricted contact regulations with a maximum of five days of contact.

“Fall and winter school sports are unchanged. Coaches must follow the membership’s coaching contact rules,” Labecki said. “The fall season has not been addressed. We continue to monitor the fluid situation and await the Governor’s determinations.” 

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]

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